In a tweet While certainly not meant to distract from news that he plans to lay off about 10 percent of his staff, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he is moving the company’s “AI Day” event from August to September in anticipation. of being able to show a “working” Optimus prototype.
You’ll recall that Optimus is the name given to the humanoid robot that Musk said will take on the repetitive, boring tasks that people don’t like to do. The robot was unveiled during Tesla’s final AI day in August 2021, and as with all things Musk does, it’s hard to parse reality from the smokescreen of nonsense he’s prone to throwing out. After promising to unveil a working prototype sometime in 2022, the evening was closed by a person in a spandex robot costume taking the stage and doing an extremely awkward dance.
Tesla’s history is littered with imaginative ideas that never materialized, such as a solar powered supercharger network† change battery† snake style robotic chargerscity to city rocket travel or a self-driving car that could summon you from all over the country.
Musk is very good at generating headlines, especially when there is bad news to distract from. His move to buy Twitter is slowly being unraveled, with federal regulators investigating whether he broke the rules when he initially bought a 9 percent stake in the company. Not to mention, Tesla is still being investigated for the tendency of its vehicles to crash into parked emergency services while using the same AI software that will supposedly power this robot.
Of course Musk keeps some of his promises. He makes cars, some of which reliably cope with some of the driving tasks, but not at the expense of the driver’s attention. He builds rockets that can land themselves and can be reused. But a humanoid robot like Musk promises should be taken with a grain of salt the size of Mars.
Building a human-replacing robot is something no company in the world even comes close. Even Boston Dynamics, which makes one of the most advanced bipedal robots in the world, has never described its machines as anything but experimental. His Atlas robot still trips and falls regularly, despite more than a decade of work.
If you think Musk can skip that work in a year, I’ve got a few… Oceanfront accommodation in Arizona you really have to look.